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International Center

University of Missouri

A totally cheesy ‘When in Rome’ post

The Pantheon

The Pantheon is an old Roman artifact, but unlike many it still stands and is a fully functioning Christian church. The outside is strikingly Roman, but the inside is a bit different than one would expect.

The Pantheon: inside

Walking into the Pantheon, one expects pagan idols and the typical Roman ruins. However, the inside is stunning, with marble and tile decorating every surface. It was turned into a Christian church at one point, so the statues are classic religious figures and there is an elaborate altar with beautiful candles at the front. The most striking part is still the oculus at the top. Luckily, it wasn’t raining the day we visited.

The Trevi Fountain

Another Rome classic, the Trevi Fountain is unlike anything I imagined. So much larger, and so crowded with people making wishes and throwing change. Walking through the streets around, you wouldn’t expect to come across something so magnificent, and it truly takes your breath away.

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is one of the most famous plazas in Rome. It was surrounded by typical Roman buildings. On the ground level of all these buildings were restaurants and gelato shops, and then in the center were stands selling photos, trinkets and other Rome souvenirs.

Castille Sant'Angelo

Castille Sant’Angelo was something I hadn’t seen on my first trip to Rome. Walking to it was beautiful, because the bridge over the Tiber River is lined with magnificent statues of important Christian figures. The castle is also very different than some of the other castles I’ve seen across Europe.

The Vatican Museum

The Vatican Museum has more than 20 miles worth of priceless art and artifacts from around the world. While most is religiously based, there are still classic pieces that everyone in Rome should see, such as the School of Athens and the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. My personal favorite was a simpler piece, called the Triumph of the Christian Religion.

St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica was easily the largest place of worship I have ever seen. There are dozens of side altars all around, with the centerpiece altar high up in the center of the cross shaped floor plan. Behind the high altar is a stained glass window depicting the Holy Spirit, pictured here.

Rome from up high

We had the unique opportunity to visit the Pontifical North American College, or the Catholic seminary in Rome for North America students studying to be priests. It sits atop the highest hill in Rome, and is also another six or seven stories high, so standing on the roof you can see all of the city.

The Roman Forum

The Roman Forum was once the center of the city, with government offices and temples all around. While today most of it has fallen away, the pieces that are still there represent the most important aspects of their culture, and the history is fascinating.

The Colosseum

Of course, going to Rome means visiting the Colosseum. It is astounding to see such an iconic landmark. It was definitely bigger than I expected. I was also surprised to see how run down the inside was. The most amazing part is imagining the type of events that happened there during the Roman Empire.

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